Our sixth installment, Kim Goldberg’s “DeSoto Love,” kicks off a cluster of poems exploring gender. Goldberg poses a seemingly funny question about why her female speaker had to hide in the trunk of her boyfriend’s car, leading to serious reflections on the relationship between driving and interpersonal agency. *** DeSoto Love The summer I was seventeen, my boyfriend (the first one I really loved) snuck me into the drive-in in the trunk of his 1960 DeSoto that I helped him paint the week before (abalone blue, like his eyes). And looking back, I’m not sure why I’m the one...Read More
Author: Theresa Smalec
This fifth installment is Charles Bernstein’s meticulous detailing of the cars that have moved him on his journey. More than just metal (or today’s plastic bumpers and fascias), cars are among the technologies that tell the stories of our evolving life/work. My Cars My first car I got from a friend of a college friend who fixed up cars in his backyard in New Jersey. This must have been in 1970 and if memory serves (and why should it?). It was a 1963 Chevrolet Impala: a beautiful car in not such great shape; my sense is that I...Read More
In this fourth installment, Susan Rudy offers glimpses into a story of profound transitions. Moving back and forth between cities and families–her past and her present–during a year of loss, Rudy contrasts the unlikely comforts of public transit with the aseptic silences of driving alone. *** Company, and the journey Susan Rudy, 6 November 2017, London A feeling of peace overcomes me as I bound up the stairs of the #91 double decker from the British Library. I love travelling with company on the journey. In London, I travel on foot, by bus, train, the underground. It’s a...Read More
This third installment features car-themed poems by Vancouver-based Jeff Derksen— taken from the idiom of car sales in Craig’s List. Derksen is interested in the particular language (and class aspect) of how older cars are described for sale. And also in the way the car culture persists in cities and suburbs. In the Idiom: All Cars & Trucks (dealer + by owner) 1988 audi needs a new deceleration valve but with that it will run fine brand new battery it doesn’t run right now, like i said it needs a deceleration valve but i would be willing...Read More
In this second installment of “Car Poems,” Bird Williams recalls a car that was her partner in quest and part of her journey to freedom. *** DRIVING By Bird Williams We rode those streets in search of something more than another night of six packs in my car. We rode those streets like we’d been there before. In a rusted-out Camaro bought cheap to restore we crossed the Georgia line in search of bars and rode those streets in search of something more than the endless TV gray inside the door of one more mill-town evening, too familiar to...Read More
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